Sonny Milano Set To Debut, John Carlson Skates: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate


Following a day off for the team on Friday, the Washington Capitals returned to work on Saturday morning for their gameday skate. They host the Arizona Coyotes tonight in the first game of a season-long four-game homestand. Sonny Milano skated on the second line and John Carlson skated for the first time since sustaining a lower body injury last Saturday in Nashville.

LINES AND PAIRS

Sonny Milano practiced with the starters this morning and looks to make his Capitals debut tonight. The lines at morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Marcus Johansson
Connor McMichael — Lars Eller — Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Dmitry Orlov — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Matt Irwin

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Darcy Kuemper was the first goaltender off the ice this morning meaning he will likely get the start tonight against the Coyotes.

Extras: Joe Snively, Garrett Pilon and Lucas Johansen

Injuries:
 Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, John Carlson, T.J. Oshie, Beck Malenstyn, Connor Brown

John Carlson (lower-body) participated in morning skate. It was the first time practicing with the team since being injured in Nashville on Oct. 29. Carlson remains on injured reserve and is not eligible to return until Monday vs Edmonton at the earliest.

COYOTE PATROL

The Coyotes enter tonight’s game 3-6-1 on the season, and are ranked at or near the bottom of the league in many key team statistics. The Capitals (5-5-2) have already faced several of the league’s best teams so far this season, and as a result, their stats show it (see below). Tonight’s game will provide interesting context as to where this team really sits with respect to the rest of the league.

STAT OF THE DAY – IMPROVING EXPECTATIONS

When we last presented the Capitals expected goals for percentages for each of the Capitals skaters, Anthony Mantha was the only player to have an xGF% above 50%. In our latest update on the stat, Conor Sheary and Dylan Strome have joined Mantha above the coveted 50% mark, and several other players are getting close. [Click to enlarge].

Unfortunately the Capitals as a team remain near the bottom of the league (26th) in expected goals for percentage at 45.25%.

DOWN ON THE FARM

Jake Karabela notched his fourth goal of the season for the Guelph Storm last night.

The 18-year-old, a native of Guelph, Ontario, posted 12 goals, 33 points, and a +14 rating in 68 games last season and two goals, four points, and a -8 rating in five playoff games.

Bogdan Trineyev remains with the KHL club after serving a brief stint with the junior club at the end of October.

LAVIOLETTE DAILY PRESSER

SHAVINGS

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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14 Responses to Sonny Milano Set To Debut, John Carlson Skates: Notes From Capitals Morning Skate

  1. David says:

    So you’re saying there’s a chance….

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m kinda surprised the Caps haven’t claimed Aubé-Kubel

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Claims are announced at 2PM

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s almost a given they claim him.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why? It’s not like the Maple Leafs are doing great and don’t have room for him. Who’s place does he take? CMM, Protas, Milano, Snively?

          • Anonymous says:

            The Leafs didn’t have room for him, they had someone returning from IR and had to cut someone.

            I think Caps are at a point where they need to look at any experienced NHL’ers to hold the fort until players return from injury.

        • Anonymous says:

          Why would they claim him? Who do they replace? CMM, Protas, Snively, Milano? Is he really that much of a step up from any of those?

          • Jon Sorensen says:

            I believe MacLellan echoed your sentiments in a recent interview with the Athletic, saying they were focused on giving players inside the organization a shot, to see what they can do.

            Having said that, I believe the interview was prior to the Malenstyn injury, so I wouldn’t be shocked if they took a look at another player outside the system. They really have nothing to lose.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

  3. Anonymous says:

    Except Mantha hasn’t been finishing or been an impact player. He just lazily skates around and usually turns the puck over. What a busy of a trade.

    • Lance says:

      I agree. The Mantha trade was a mistake. I liked it at the time but Mantha is just a solid 20 goal guy. He’s not going to blossom into a 35+ goal guy. We gave up a 1st rounder that became a good forward prospect Wyatt Johnson in Dallas + a 2nd rounder. We could’ve probably OBTAINED a first rounder for Vrana + Panik straight up. Signing Panik was also a mistake. Look, we all make mistakes. BMac has done a lot of good things as well (Oshie, Kuemper, Kempny, Strome). But the Mantha idea hasn’t worked.

    • Anonymous says:

      He’s third on the team in goals? Kuzy? Now there’s an issue.

      • Lance says:

        Mantha is a legit middle 6 winger. He’ll score 15 to 25 goals. That’s not nothing. But we gave up Vrana (a 1st rounder) + 1st and 2nd round picks. Far too much in hindsight for Mantha.

        Kuzy was amazing for the Cup run. He should’ve taken the Coon Smythe trophy. But, yeah, Kuzy isn’t doing much either.

        • Anonymous says:

          Vrana had to go. You can’t threaten a coach. He’s been a issue with coaches his entire career (Hershey, Czech National teams). He’s played just 39 games for Red Wings, so Caps are definitely in the lead on the trade. Also, one pick traded was to unload Panik contract.

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